US president vows the Isalmic republic will never acquire a nuclear weapon. World leaders react.
Donald Trump has slammed Iran and said it has committed multiple violations of a 2015 deal aimed at stopping the country develop a nuclear bomb.
He gave the US Congress 60 days to decide whether to reimpose economic sanctions on Tehran that had been lifted when the agreement was signed two years ago.
If not, he said, he would pull the US out of the deal.
“Today I am announcing our strategy along with several major steps we’re taking to confront the Iranian regime’s hostile actions and to ensure that Iran never — and I mean never — acquires a nuclear weapon,” Trump said.
Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani, hit back saying Trump’s speech was full of cursing and baseless accusations and that the multinational deal cannot be revoked by one nation.
The EU’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, agreed saying the international community cannot afford to dismantle an accord that is “working and delivering”.
Other signatories of the deal, France, Germany and the UK, released a statement saying preserving it was in their joint national interest.
But Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, congratulated Trump, saying: “He boldly confronted Iran’s terrorist regime (and) created an opportunity to fix this bad deal, to roll back Iran’s aggression and to confront its criminal support of terrorism.”
Meanwhile Russia’s foreign ministry said there was no place in international diplomacy for threatening and aggressive rhetoric and that such methods were doomed to fail.
Watch: Donald Trump outlines his new Iran vision
Watch: EU’s foreign policy chief contradicts Trump
The High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affair, Frederica Mogherini, vowed to preserve the ongoing deal.
“We cannot afford as the international community to dismantle a nuclear agreement that is working”, she said.
Mogherini added that it is not “in Trump’s hands” or of any other single president to cancel the international agreement.
“The president of the United States has many powers, but not this one.”
The EU foreign policy chief affirmed the deal would be kept despite Trump’s threats.
“The international community, and the European Union with it, has clearly indicated that the deal is, and will, continue to be in place,” she told reporters.
Watch: Israel prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu congratulates Trump
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu applauded the US president’s “courageous” decision to stop signing off on the deal with Iran.
Netanyahu, who has opposed the deal since its introduction in 2015, said Trump was confronting “Iran’s terrorist regime”.
“If the Iran deal is left unchanged, one thing is absolutely certain, in a few years’ time, the world’s foremost terrorist regime will have an arsenal of nuclear weapons and that is a tremendous danger for our collective future”, he said.
British, French and German leaders react
British Prime Minister Theresa May, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel wrote a joint statement reacting to Trump’s speech.
The statement said the leaders were “concerned” but stand committed to the full implementation of the deal.
The leaders stated that the agreement is part of a common security interest.
“We look to Iran to engage in constructive dialogue to stop de-stabilising actions and work towards negotiated solutions” they added.
Russian Foreign Ministry responds
The Russian Foreign Ministry has criticized Trump’s aggressive and threatening rhetoric, saying that it had no place in diplomatic exchanges.
“It is a hangover from the past, which does not correspond to modern norms of civilised dealings between countries,” the statement said.
The ministry said the US President’s decision would directly impact the implementation of the deal.